US aircraft carrier in Palma
The hulking outline of one of the US navy's mighty aircraft carriers, the USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN 72), can now be seen anchored off the coast of Palma. The immense vessel arrived yesterday and will stay until Saturday before it departs on its mission through the Mediterranean, the Red Sea, the Persian Gulf and the Indian and Pacific oceans.
It left its base in Norfolk, Virginia earlier this month on a seven month mission with several other US Navy ships which will almost circumnavigate the globe and visit areas which are increasingly seeing more activity by Russian naval vessels. Seen as a show of strength by the Americans, the mission will end in October with the Lincoln arriving at its new base in San Diego.
It's the first time the carrier has visited Mallorca, though others of its type – the Nimitz class – have previously been. As I said, it's anchored just out to sea and because of its sheer size it's an easily visible and interesting sight.
At 332 metres long and 41 wide (77 wide on the aircraft take off deck) you can't really miss it. It's got room on board for 85 aircraft, both planes and helicopters and houses around 5,600 crew, and with 2 nuclear reactors and 4 turbines producing 260,000 horse power, it can plough through the water at 30 knots!
I just think it's an incredible sight to behold, and far more interesting than the gigantic cruise ships which visit Palma, though if you think an aircraft carrier isn't quite so glamorous as a fancy Dan cruiser, then think again. No less a person than Tom Cruise, yes than actor with the nice teeth and a straight nose, was stationed aboard the Lincoln whilst filming scenes for Top Gun II last summer!
Feel the need!